Barbara is a Professor of History at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s (Harvard University Press, 2014) and Globalizing Sport: Between National Rivalry and International Community in the 1930s (Harvard University Press, 2006). She is interested in the emotional dynamics of internationalism; the curtailed internationalism of international human rights; and the internationalist claims associated with global sports events.
Barbara is writing a history of anti-torture campaigns since 1945, which examines strains of internationalist thinking in human rights movements. She is also working with Roland Burke on a large Australian Research Council-funded project that traces the history of idealistic internationalism in global sports events, especially the Olympic Games. Proponents of international sports competitions have long argued that these events help to create a more peaceful world by fostering international understanding and friendship. The project aims to understand how these claims have changed over time, why they have enjoyed widespread acceptance, and how they have influenced the ethics of global order.